• TCM to Honor the Work of Late Director William Friedkin September 14th and November 26th

    Posted Mon Aug 14, 2023 at 12:38 PM PDT by
    William Friedkin - TCM Honoring the director of The Exorcist, To Live and Die in LA and The French Connection

    William Friedkin, director of such classics as The ExorcistThe Boys in the BandThe French Connection, and modern treats like Bug and Killer Joe will be celebrated on the classic movie channel this fall.

    For those of you with a TCM subscription, the venerable film channel will be hosting a two-night tribute to the late filmmaker. As we await the release of Friedkin's final film The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, fans will be able to enjoy airings of some of his classics including The French ConnectionThe Exorcist as well as the TCM premiere of the excellent documentary, Friedkin Uncut. The films will be spread out over two nights, September 14th and November 26th.

    Here's a look at the schedule:

    TCM Remembers William Friedkin Part 1 – Thursday, September 14

    • 8:00 PM – The French Connection (1971) –Two New York narcotics cops set out to bust a French drug smuggling ring.
    • 10:00 PM – To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) –A Secret Service agent becomes obsessed with tracking down a notorious and dangerous Los Angeles counterfeitor.
    • 12:15 AM – The Boys in the Band (1970) –A gay birthday party turns into a night of soul-searching when the host's straight college roommate turns up by mistake.

    TCM Remembers William Friedkin Part 2 – Sunday, November 26

    • 8:00 PM – Friedkin Uncut (2018) – TCM Premiere – In this documentary, William Friedkin is interviewed about his career, alongside a number of his colleagues and industry admirers.
    • 10:00 PM – The Exorcist (1973) – A priest battles to save a young girl possessed by demons.

    This selection is clearly a greatest hits list of his early work but the man made some great films all the way into the mid-2010s, with the likes of Bug and Killer Joe - but I imagine those latter two would be tough shows for the uninitiated. Between The French Connection and The Boys in the Band it will be interesting to see which version of those we'll get to enjoy on the landmark movie channel. The French Connection famously (or rather infamously at this point) was edited to excise some potentially offensive language while The Boys in the Band was one that endured Friedkin's troubling color-correcting when it came to disc leaving it looking overly purple and awkward. This press release also doesn't state which version of The Exorcist we'll be seeing so we'll just have to tune in to find out!

    [UPDATE 9/9/2023]

    After reaching out to TCM we've learned that this upcoming screening of The French Connection at 8:00 PM on September 14th is in fact going to be the full uncensored original version of the film and not the controversial re-edit that removed the usage of a particular racial slur that actually gave some essential character background to Popeye Doyle.  

    As for The Exorcist airing on November 26th at 10:00 pm, this will be the Theatrical Cut - so get excited for the leaner bleaker cut of the classic horror film!

    It's not like we don't already own these and can watch them whenever we want, but it's there's something special about catching TCM's presentations of these classics - I know I love their intros and wish more of that kind of content would make it to some Blu-ray releases' bonus features. 

    For those interested, here's the full press release:


    TCM To Celebrate Legendary Director
    William Friedkin


     Two-Night Programming Tribute Airing in September and November to Include The French Connection and The Exorcist
    Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will celebrate the life and career of director William Friedkin with a programming tribute this September and November. Friedkin, who died August 7 at the age of 87, started his career by directing one of the last episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. He went on to be known as one of the iconic directors of New Hollywood in the 1970s with such hits as The Exorcist (1973) and The French Connection (1971), which won him the Academy Award® for Best Director. William Friedkin was a great friend to Turner Classic Movies and he attended the TCM Classic Film Festival several times, most recently in April 2023.
     
    TCM Remembers William Friedkin Part 1 – Thursday, September 14
    8:00 PM – The French Connection (1971) – Two New York narcotics cops set out to bust a French drug smuggling ring.
    10:00 PM – To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) – A Secret Service agent becomes obsessed with tracking down a notorious and dangerous Los Angeles counterfeitor.
    12:15 AM – The Boys in the Band (1970) – A gay birthday party turns into a night of soul-searching when the host's straight college roommate turns up by mistake.
     
    TCM Remembers William Friedkin Part 2 – Sunday, November 26
    8:00 PM – Friedkin Uncut (2018) – TCM Premiere – In this documentary, William Friedkin is interviewed about his career, alongside a number of his colleagues and industry admirers.
    10:00 PM – The Exorcist (1973) – A priest battles to save a young girl possessed by demons.
     
    (All times Eastern)

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